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A DEFINITE PARTICLE.. Collider scientists make sub-atomic find.


SCIENTISTS working on the Large Hadron Collider have made their first discovery.

It isn't the most coveted prize in physics - the Higgs boson - but the subatomic particle, known as Chi_b (3P), will help them understand the forces that hold matter together.

Chi_b (3P) shows scientists a new way how quarks - the building blocks of protons and neutrons - join together.

The EUR5billion Large Hadron Collider, dubbed the "Big Bang Machine", fills a 20-mile circular tunnel that straddles the Swiss-French border at Cern, near Geneva.

Scientists, including teams from the universities of Lancaster and Birmingham, hope it will reconstruct the conditions just after the Big Bang created the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

Professor Roger Jones, of Lancaster University, said Chi_b (3P) is a more excited state of Chi particles already seen in collision experiments.

He said: "The new particle is made up of a 'beauty quark' and a 'beauty antiquark', which are then bound together. People have thought this more excited state should exist for years but nobody has managed to see it until now.

"While people are rightly interested in the Higgs boson, which we believe gives particles their mass and may have started to reveal itself, a lot of the mass of everyday objects comes from the strong interaction we are investigating."

Two separate experiments at Cern - Atlas and CMS - are searching for Higgs boson, which is known as the "God particle" because its existence would help scientists explain how the universe was formed.

Andy Chisholm, analysing the data, said: "We were lucky to look in the right place at the right time."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 23, 2011
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